Although getting laid off can be a traumatic experience, experts say you shouldn’t panic. You need to be calm and levelheaded to plan a course of action for while you are unemployed and to plan a strategy for finding another job.

There are several things you can do to help yourself get through this tough time, according to Chuck Koeber, a professor at Wichita State University.

One of the first things you should do is apply for unemployment benefits. If you wait to file, you might not get reimbursed for the time before you applied.

Many employers and unions have resources available for employees who have been laid off, such as job counseling. Check with your former employer and union to find out what they have available and how you can access them.

Labor departments, at the state or county level, also have resources for people who have been laid off, such as help centers. You should make use of these resources as well.

Have a plan, Koeber says. Draw up a written plan of action with the things you are going to do, the strategy you are going to follow, in looking for a job. And use the plan to schedule your time. Don’t just make things up as you go along. This will only extend the time it takes you to find a job, needlessly drawing out the anxiety that goes along with it. Do a self-assessment to help identify your skills and abilities. There are many sites on the internet than can help with this, such as

Don’t shut yourself off from your family. Talk with your spouse and children about what has happened and how they feel about it. Ask for their support.

Keep an eye on your budget. You are going to have to make changes in your lifestyle. Try not to run up too much debt. Watch your credit card use. Try to stay away from using retirement funds. If you need some financial counseling, groups like the Consumer Credit Counseling Service can help.

If you are depressed, or otherwise emotionally disturbed as a result of what has happened, look for professional help. Many communities and universities offer low-cost counseling.

And don’t forget engaging the services of a staffing service such as Winston Resources. We can help you secure temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire assignments with some of New York City’s best companies. We often find that our temporary workers eventually find regular, full-time work via a temporary assignment. Contact us today!

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